Meet Marie Craig of Fountain Street
March 6, 2018 | Boston Voyager
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Today we’d like to introduce you to Marie Craig.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Call us crazy- Cherie Clinton and I first opened Fountain Street Gallery in Framingham, MA in 2011, in the middle of the ‘Great Recession’. We both felt that the Metrowest Boston area really needed a cutting-edge contemporary fine art gallery that would connect the region’s many talented artists with art-lovers and collectors. That unique space, in a gritty, quirky, historic mill building, was where we learned to be gallerists, where we became known for putting together quality exhibitions by local and international artists, and for making art accessible and approachable.
In April 2017, the old mill building was suddenly closed to the public due to public safety concerns. Faced with two choices- move or close- we took a chance, and, within weeks, moved the Gallery to its current location at 460 Harrison Avenue in South Boston’s SoWa arts district, in the process meeting so many more art-lovers and collectors, and giving our artists exposure in Boston’s best art neighborhood.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been a bumpy road, especially at the beginning! Cherie and I are both artists (Cherie is a painter, I’m a photographer), so as entrepreneurs we’ve had to learn by doing. We see the Framingham years as ‘training wheels’. When we made the move to Boston, we were prepared and had the skills and tools.
We also were faced with tough decisions when our Framingham space was closed on us. Once the leadership team and I decided to take the plunge and move to Boston, we needed to rebrand, rethink our operating structure, and introduce ourselves to a new neighborhood of art-lovers. What made this transition successfully, in the end, was being able to build on all the lessons we learned from the beginning of the Fountain Street journey. We’re delighted with all the increased opportunities that are available to us now in Boston for us to grow and connect with a wider audience of collectors and patrons.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Fountain Street is a contemporary art gallery that aims to make original fine art accessible, approachable and affordable while supporting artists in the process of bringing their work to the marketplace. The gallery is owned by Cherie and myself, but at the heart of our operation, we’re a collaborative gallery, which means that the twenty-eight core artists who are part of the gallery work together to produce high-caliber exhibits, juried shows, installations and events.
We primarily exhibit new work by actively-creating regional artists, although we also show work by artists from around the globe from time to time. We pride ourselves on having a range of artwork that is accessible to a wide range of art lovers, whether they are long-time collectors, or are just starting to collect art.
In the process, we have found a formula that introduces new collectors to fresh artists. In creating these connections we are proud that we have the ability to focus on the collectors’ visions and appetite for quality and high-caliber work, while at the same time helping artists reach their professional goals.
We’re grateful for the amazing group of talented painters, photographers, sculptors, mixed media and new media artists who are part of the gallery. The close-knit group that has formed supports one another in creative endeavors and is the heart of Fountain Street.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Having recently moved to Boston, we can definitely say that we are delighted by the wonderfully supportive business community we’ve found in SoWa. Our patrons are curious, engaged, and knowledgeable. Plus, Boston has a vibrant art scene, one that continues to improve and grow.